Pub customers could be forced to wear face masks OUTSIDE when beer gardens reopen on Monday

PUNTERS could be forced to wear face masks outside when they return to pubs gardens on Monday.

Government guidance states that face coverings must be worn when inside but some councils across England are enforcing even stricter rules, reports The Telegraph.

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Landlords in a few boroughs of England are being told to ensure customers wear face masks when moving around beer gardens.

It means in some boozers, customers will only be allowed to take them off when sitting at a table to eat and drink.

In these areas, councils have set up enforcement teams to patrol pubs for rule-breakers leaving landlords fearful they face fines.

Ribble Valley BoroughCouncil in Lancashire issued a notice that read: "Face coverings must be worn by customers, except when seated to eat or drink."

Timeline for businesses reopening after lockdown

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has outlined his roadmap for easing England out of lockdown.

Businesses will be allowed to reopen on the following dates, as long as the "four steps to freedom" are met.

April 12

  • Retail
  • Hospitality outdoors
  • Hairdressers
  • Zoos
  • Self-catered staycations with one household

May 17

  • Indoor hospitality
  • Indoor exercise gyms
  • Bingo halls
  • Cinemas
  • Sports stadiums to reopen but capped to 10,000 fans
  • Saunas
  • Spas

June 21

  • Nightclubs

The council insisted the rules were correct when questioned by one landlady in the area.

Trade bodies UK Hospitality and the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) told the paper they were both aware of "inconsistencies" in national and local Covid-secure rules for pubs.

"We need local enforcement bodies to be working to support businesses to reopen rather than to be putting barriers in the way or creating confusion," UK Hospitality boss Kate Nichols told the Telegraph.

Emma McClarkin from BBPA added: "We're aware of inconsistencies among councils and local authorities and we would ask to come to this in the spirit of trying to assist pubs opening safely rather than trying to look for errors or reasons to stymie their reopening."

Pubs and restaurants have been given the green light to reopen from April 12 but only for outdoor service.

Customers will only be allowed inside to use the toilet and will have to wear a face masks when doing so.

Diners will have to wait until May 17 at the earliest to enjoy a meal inside.

The staggered reopening approach has been slammed by industry bodies who warned the majority of businesses will remain shut on April 12 due to the lack of outdoor space.

But despite this, Brits are expected to spend more than £300million heading back to boozers in a boost for the economy.

Reopening will come as a relief for boozers that have not been able to pull pints since England was plunged into a third lockdown on January 4.

In areas that were placed into Tier 4 shortly after the second lockdown, the hospitality industry has been closed for even longer.

Throughout lockdown, restaurants and pubs have been able to offer takeaway and home delivery services – but some have chosen not to.

For those keen to eat or drink out from next week, we round up the food chains that have confirmed will be open for outdoor dining.

Punters will have to follow a strict set of rules when pubs and restaurants do open again.

The hated 10pm curfew has been scrapped though and drinkers won't have to order a substantial meal with their alcohol, putting an end to the Scotch egg debate.

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